Sefirot Tree of Life Kabbalah Meditation

SHEMA:
BECOMING ONE TOGETHER

What is this course?

Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.

Hear, O Israel, The Eternal is our G!d, The Eternal is One.

 

The first prayer we teach our children and the last prayer we recite before passing on from this world, said upon waking and sleep, the Shema is the engine of Jewish consciousness.

 

Yet its esoteric language leaves us riddled with questions: “Hear oh Israel” - why hear rather than know, understand, believe?  Who is speaking, and to whom?  “Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.”  Why both Divine names, what is the deeper meaning of the repetition, and what is the nature of this oneness?

 

Our questions will invite us into the mystery of G!d’s oneness and our part in creation, guiding us through ripe layers of meaning, and directing us on a path of awareness and genuine connection to self, G!d, and creation.

 

In this online course with Nadav Slovin, teacher of text and facilitator of awakened Jewish practice, we will explore each word of the Shema in rich depth, journeying methodologically from its roots in the Torah to its branches in Rabbinic commentary, and ultimately to its fruits in our personal lives.

Throughout, our course weaves together text study and practice. We will be encountering a variety of texts as a group and in pairs, utilizing breakout groups to empower active learning and discussion. The texts range from a deep dive into the verses of Torah, to the Talmud, medieval commentators, Chassidic masters, and modern scholars such as Rav Abraham Isaac Kook, Rabbi Sacks, and Nechama Leibowitz. Embodied practice will support our integration of these teachings into our bodies and lives, including meditation, writing, movement, and art. 

All texts are provided with clear line-by-line translations, and no prior knowledge or experience with the subject matter is necessary. This course is open to novices and advanced learners of all backgrounds and orientations.

How does it work?

The course consists of six live online classes on Sundays, each of which will be recorded and shared with all course participants.​

Sessions consist of close study of texts interspersed with guided practices that will support personal growth and spiritual encounter alongside our learning.

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Each session includes:

 

1) A live online class and its recording, which will be sent out afterward.

 

2) Guided personal practice.

 

3) A printable handout of relevant texts from Biblical, Rabbinic, Kabbalistic and Chassidic sources, provided in full translation with introductory comments and guiding questions.

4) A WhatsApp group providing a context for robust discussion and an open channel to the teacher.

Dates and Times

The course will meet on Sundays at 6pm Israel time / 4pm UK / 11am US Eastern / 8am US Pacific and the relevant hours in your time zones. 

The course will begin on Sunday January 16 and run for six sessions until Sunday February 20.

Click here to register

Click here to get in touch or to try a class for free

The Six Sessions

 

We will be studying the first two lines of the Shema prayer in great depth. Our prayer, the chant that has accompanied our people throughout the generations, is hardly linear. It is a journey, an invitation to partake in a process that began in the creation of the world and will conclude in the days to come, the days of full revelation. We will enter through the portal of its opening cry:

1. Shema (Hear), and proceed to explore on a circuitous route through the first pasuk - 

2. Echad (One)

3. Adonai Eloheinu (The Eternal our G!d)

4. Adonai (The Eternal)

5. Yisrael (Israel), ultimately concluding on the whisper that follows - 

6. Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto L’Olam Va’ed

(Blessed be the Name of His glorious sovereignty forever and all time).

 

1) Shema (Hear): What is unique about the faculty of hearing? Is it truly within our human capacity to hear the word of G!d?  How might we cultivate a listening ear and an open heart?

2) Echad (One): Written in bold, the Torah calls us to our pasuk’s conclusion: One. The essential descriptor of our G!d. What is the deeper meaning of our proclamation? Our exploration will serve as a guiding light into genuine personal growth throughout our course.

3) Adonai Eloheinu (The Eternal our G!d): If our goal is to proclaim G!d’s oneness, why include multiple names? What aspects of G!d are indicated by the names encountered in Shema, and what is the union that we seek to bring and perceive through our chant?

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4) Adonai (The Eternal): Despite our progress, mystery remains. Why repeat Adonai? The repetition demands that the repetitive names are not identical and static but point to a process. What does it mean for G!d to go through a process, and what is its catalyst?

5) Yisrael (Israel): Within the grandeur of the Shema's theological poetry, reaching beyond all galaxies and stars, stands a simple being: Yisrael. Our forefather Jacob, our people Israel. What is our role in all this?

6) Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto L’Olam Va’ed. A whisper. (Blessed be the Name of His glorious sovereignty forever and all time). Mysterious and secretive, these powerful words draw the nourishing waters of the Shema into our lives, offering a patient and healthy path towards achieving our ultimate dreams.

Testimonials

"Nadav has been a huge inspiration to me since we began learning together last year. When teaching, he creates a space in which social pressures of conformity melt away and students are truly able to open up and just be themselves. This approach facilitates an exploration of one’s own perspectives on the world in a way that many learning environments are less likely to produce."
- Aaron Levitt

"Nadav facilitates with enthusiasm, love, and deep understanding of Jewish text and care for Jewish practice. He leads with his heart. Whether leading a hike, a Shabbat service in the woods, or a meditation and discussion, Nadav's passion comes across in everything he does."

- Zoe Hertz

"Nadav Slovin is a passionate teacher of Judaism who excels in connecting Torah concepts and values with the real world - the trees, the mountains, the body. He has an authentic ability to bring out the best in others and to facilitate real connection between diverse groups of individuals. His sensitivity and open-heartedness are gifts that he readily shares with the world and that he makes use of when leading and teaching others."

- Zach Subar

Click here to register

Click here to get in touch or to try a class for free